Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

School of Social Work

Dr. Diane M. Hodge, Director
Dr. Sarah Rakes, BSW Program Coordinator
Dr. Susan Schoppelrey, Associate Director



The School of Social Work offers the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and the Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW). Both programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The undergraduate program prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice while the graduate program offers a concentration in community-based family practice. For further information consult the Radford University Graduate Catalog.

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Health and Aging allows students to obtain specialized knowledge about adult development and aging as they live and work with the rapidly aging population of the 21st Century. (See here .)

Undergraduate Program in Social Work (BSW)

The Social Work Program is a comprehensive professional program that prepares students for beginning generalist social work practice. Students majoring in Social Work graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work degree.  Upper division social work courses are offered at two campuses: full-time at Radford and part-time at the Roanoke Higher Education Center. Students should consult with the Advising Center or their Social Work advisor to determine their individual plan of study, including the best campus at which to complete their degree.

This program is designated as A (Cultural or Behavioral Analysis) Area and fulfills the learning goal: To examine the context and interactions of culture(s) and/or behavior(s). Students will fulfill the learning outcomes in this area: describe behaviors, beliefs, cultures, social institutions, and/or environments and analyze the interactions of behaviors, beliefs, cultures, social institutions, and/or environments.

This program has been approved to cover the L (Applied Learning) Area and fulfills the learning goal: To explore professional practice through the application of knowledge, skills, and critical reflection. Students will fulfill the learning outcomes in this area: apply acquired knowledge and skills to develop professional identity or professional practice and critically reflect on their learning, abilities, experiences, or role within professional contexts.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet academic and non-academic standards for successful admission, progression through and graduation from the BSW program. In order to assist students in developing the knowledge base and social work practice skills necessary to be successful generalist social work practitioners, the School of Social Work has developed technical standards and a process to become a social work major.

The Policies for Admission and Progression in the Social Work Major are in the BSW manual. The BSW degree consists of three components: Core Curriculum requirements, pre-professional core courses (pre-Social Work majors), and a professional core (Social Work majors). A 400-hour internship in the senior year is also required.

Admission is competitive and granted on a space- available basis.

A student who has separated from Radford University is subject to a new plan of study when re-entering the program. Students must apply to the major. The BSW committee will review the student records to determine which courses still need to be completed and which, if any, courses need to be repeated.

Admissions Criteria

Applications are accepted once per semester, due by close of business on the first Friday in October and the first Friday in March. Applicants must meet the following criteria for admission into the Social Work major from pre-Social Work:

  • Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7; however, the actual GPA required for admission may be significantly higher as admission is competitive. Transfer students are advised that after 24 credit hours are earned at Radford University, the Radford University GPA is used for admission.  Transfer students who have earned less than 24 credit hours at Radford University are advised that the combined GPA for all coursework is considered.
  • Have passed with a “C” or better (a C- is a failing grade) each of the following courses: SOWK 101, SOWK 220, BIOL 104, PSYC 121, SOCY 110, and ENGL 111;
  • Meets professional standards as described in the “Waldron College of Health and Human Services Standards of Professional Practice Education.”
  • Completes required application and submits it on time; and
  • Provides all required documents.
  • As part of the admissions process, interviews may be conducted by the School of Social Work Undergraduate Committee.

Life Experience/Previous Work Experience

The School of Social Work follows the Council on Social Work Education’s guideline that no academic credit be given for life experience or previous work experience.

Upper Level Academic Policies

In order to be eligible for field (SOWK 489 ) and the capstone course (SOWK 490 ), students must:

  • Continue to meet professional standards as described in the “Waldron College of Health and Human Services Standards of Professional Practice Education.” A student who does not meet the professional standards at any time during enrollment in the major will meet with their advisor and the BSW Coordinator to develop a remediation plan;
  • Have passed all required social work courses with a C or better. If a student receives a C- or below in any course, a student may retake the course one time. If the student does not pass the course with a C or higher on the second try, the student will be dismissed from the program;
  • Achieve an overall 2.7 GPA or better;
  • Achieve a 2.8 GPA or better for social work courses;
  • Have their own transportation to and from practicum agencies; and
  • Have completed all coursework.

To graduate a student must:

  • Achieve a GPA of 2.7 overall and 2.8 in social work courses; and
  • Achieve a grade of “pass” in SOWK 489 and a C or better in SOWK 490.

Academic Programs

Social Work, B.S.W. (A, L)  

Social Justice Minor (E, A)